My manpiece doesn’t cook. Okay, well he tries sometimes. Before we lived together, his kitchen repertoire consisted of: noodles with crazy salt, noodles with cheese, noodles with cheese and crazy salt, and steak.
As a vegan/omni couple, we have a “no animals in the kitchen” thing going on, so his cooking skill-set is knocked even further back. He’s the master of oat meal. He mis en places my ingredients like a pro. He has been learning to make a mean mac n’ (no) cheese, and every now and then he grills up some veggie burgers, but other than that, our arrangement is that I cook, and he does dishes. This was a compromise we made, almost unspoken, really. It’s important to me to live in a meat-free house, so in trade, I do most of the cooking.
As I write right now, he is doing dish after dish, a the brutal remains of thanksgiving after-math. In many ways, it’s great. I get to make a big mess, and I don’t have to clean it up. I like cooking, but I mostly enjoy cooking when I’m feeling inspired. And I also like being cooked for, and some evenings I feel the strain of always having to provide the meal, especially since we live in a remote location where take-out is not at option.
But that’s the agreement we made, and so I keep on trucking, er, cooking, even when I wish I could come home from yoga or finish a big assignment and have a meal waiting for me. And in the name of compromise, it was very loving of my guy to agree to live in a household where he isn’t able to cook and eat whatever he pleases. That’s big stuff right there.
I think it’s most bizarre for me to do ALL of the cooking because both of my parents are terrific cooks. Growing up, my mom–a trained chef–did do more cooking than my dad, but he still took over the reigns several nights a week to make a bad ass chilli or curry. I never grew up in a household where it was assumed the woman would cook, so I often feel rebellious about it even thought it’s a choice we made.
Learning when to compromise and when to push is crucial for the success of your relationships. Any relationship—work, romantic, family. Life is short, don’t give up on your battles, but do choose the ones that are worth it. Even if it means playing housewife most nights of the week.
So who cooks in your house? Is it a point of tension? I wanna know!
*This was originally written for and published on ieatgrass.com.